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Expat Exchange - Tips for Expats Driving in Flores 2024
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Tips for Expats Driving in Flores

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Flores.

1. Understanding the Driving Conditions

Flores, is a small island city with narrow streets. The roads are generally in good condition, but they can be crowded with pedestrians, bicycles, and tuk-tuks (small motorized rickshaws). It's important to drive cautiously and be prepared for unexpected situations. Also, be aware that traffic rules are not always strictly enforced, so you may encounter drivers who don't follow the rules.

2. Choosing the Right Vehicle

Given the narrow streets and sometimes crowded conditions, a smaller car is generally more practical in Flores. If you plan to explore the surrounding areas, which can have rougher roads, a 4x4 vehicle might be a good choice. Renting a car is an option, but it can be expensive. Buying a used car locally could be a more economical choice in the long run.

3. Parking in Flores

Finding parking in Flores can be challenging, especially during peak tourist season. There are some paid parking lots, but they can fill up quickly. Street parking is also an option, but spaces are limited. Parking fees are generally not expensive, but it's important to make sure you park in a safe and legal spot to avoid fines or towing.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Guatemala with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to 30 days. After that, you will need to obtain a Guatemalan driver's license. It's important to carry your IDP and your home country's driver's license with you at all times when driving.

5. Obtaining a Guatemalan Driver's License

To get a Guatemalan driver's license, you will need to go to the Department of Transit (Departamento de TrĂ¡nsito) with your passport, a medical certificate, and proof of a driving course completion. The process can be bureaucratic and time-consuming, so it's a good idea to start the process well before your IDP expires. You may also need to take a driving test, depending on your home country's driving agreement with Guatemala.

6. General Tips for Driving in Flores

Always wear your seatbelt and avoid using your phone while driving. Be aware of pedestrians, especially children, who may run out into the street. Be patient and courteous with other drivers. Avoid driving at night if possible, as streets are not well lit and it can be more difficult to see pedestrians and obstacles. Finally, always have a map or GPS handy, as street signs can be scarce.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world.
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AGS Worldwide MoversAGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world.
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